Jackson Creek residents (above) met with Triview Metropolitan District representatives (below) at Creekside Middle School. The Triview representatives were, from left to right, Director Jim Perry, Administrator Dale Hill, Manager Ron Simpson, Director John Riesberg, President Kathy Walters, Director Gary Walters, and Attorney Peter Susemihl.
By Judy Barnes
Representatives of the Triview Metropolitan District met with Jackson Creek residents at Creekside Middle School May 1. The approximately 40 attendees received a handout describing the district, its history, its responsibilities, and issues it faces. District manager Ron Simpson provided additional background, and attorney Pete Susemihl recounted the financial history of the district.
The current developer acquired all the district’s bonds and restructured them to limited tax general obligation bonds, which allowed the district to put a cap on the mill levy. Such bonds were not available in the 1980s, the time of the initial bond offering. Timothy and Thomas Phelan, who own Centre Development, Vision Development, and Jackson Creek Land Company, are the developers and bondholders.
Several residents expressed concern about the effect of the proposed Wal-Mart on the area, on infrastructure requirements and property values in particular. Susemihl explained that Wal-Mart has proposed to pay a 3% retail sales fee. Board member and candidate for reelection John Riesberg said, "A million dollars a year in tax money would be a lot of generated income to this district. There’s no evidence that this type of business is going to hurt us."
Residents had complaints about the appearance of their neighborhoods. One woman mentioned that a neighborhood park that originally was a selling point is now just dirt. Others noted that some areas are just dirt and weeds. Simpson explained that the district is trying to use native vegetation in public spaces, which has not been successful due to drought conditions. When the district receives a permit to use reuse water, they will be better able to maintain vegetation. Susemihl added that the district wants the area to be attractive, as that affects buying, which affects bonds, which affects ability to pay bonds.
Some residents inquired about the financial health of the district, and were told by Susemihl that "this district can’t go under," and by Riesberg, "this district is not insolvent." "The district is meeting its operating expenses and is paying off its debt pursuant to schedule," noted Susemihl. However, when residents asked about the FY2000 auditor’s report, none of the Triview representatives seemed to be familiar with it.
Several residents asked why, if the district is so healthy, the district’s debt has continued to increase. The district receives 50% of the sales tax from commercial businesses operating within the district in addition to water and sewer user fees and one-time fees (water and sewer taps; drainage; park, rec, and landscape; general road and bridge; inspection; and review fees) paid by builders on all residential and commercial units. The latest financial projection suggests that in April 2003 the district could refinance $24 million in debt and issue $11 million in new debt. [See "Triview Metropolitan District Meeting April 25" page 6]
Linda Jones, a board candidate, remarked after the meeting, "I’m very concerned that the current board doesn’t understand the auditor’s report, which doesn’t take an accountant to read. If you don’t understand it, how can you run the finances of the district? They should be familiar with what the auditor reported." Monument Trustee and Jackson Creek resident Byron Glenn commented that the meeting "is a good start. I think that everyone is starting to understand the procedures of the district, although there are still questions."
The EL Paso County Board of County Commissioners hearing on the Forest Lakes Residential Project is scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 9 am, at the County Building, 27 E. Vermijo, 3rd floor hearing room.
The proposal, based on a sketch plan approved about 15 years ago, calls for 467 dwelling units on approximately 990 acres located at the western end of Baptist Road, primarily on the former Beaver Creek Ranch. The land is currently zoned for five-acre parcels. The proposed preliminary plan and rezoning request calls for a clustered design with areas of urban density coupled with open space and recreational use of two lakes.
On February 26, the county planning commission recommended approval of the rezoning request but rejected the preliminary plan.
Opinions and comments concerning this project should be sent to the El Paso County Planning Department (Attn: Carl Schueler), 27 East Vermijo Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.
By Judy Barnes
At a special meeting April 16, the Palmer Lake Town Council passed an emergency ordinance to increase residential water rates. The council decided against increasing commercial water rates so as not to discourage businesses from locating or staying in Palmer Lake. Two trustees, Cindy Allen and Eddie Kinney, opposed the rate increase. Allen favored educating town residents on ways to reduce outdoor water use. She maintained that the people who use the most water would continue to do so because they can afford to. "It seems unjust and inequitable," commented Allen, "but on the flip side, we need to do something [to reduce water use] and unfortunately I have no solution."
The council hopes the rate hike will encourage prudent conservation of water. In the year 2000, the town tried five different resolutions to restrict water use, with no success. The rate increase will only affect households that use more than 12,000 gallons per month. The town arrived at a threshold use of 12,000 gallons by taking the average monthly household use during winter, close to 7,000 gallons, and adding 5,000 gallons extra to water lawns and gardens. The new rates went into effect April 17.
New residential water rates:
Basic Rate 0 – 5,000 $28.00
Old residential water rates
Basic Rate 0 - 5,000 $28.00
By Judy Barnes
Water discussion: Mayor Nikki McDonald reported on the status of the town’s wells. A bond issue passed by the voters November 2000 allowed the town to drill two wells. One, an alluvial well drilled into the Denver aquifer, is capable of producing at an average rate of 60 gallons per minute. The second, a well drilled into the deeper Arapahoe aquifer, is capable of producing at an average rate of 350 gallons per minute. The second well still needs a filter and a sewer line for backwash water.
Steve Orcutt, the town’s water supervisor, reported on water usage and availability. In 2001, the town used 288 acre-feet of water. The reservoir holds 144 acre-feet. Mayor McDonald asked if one of the reservoirs could be enlarged. Orcutt replied that enlarging a reservoir would be expensive and would probably be contested in water court.
Orcutt emphasized the need to look to the future. "As long as the [North Monument] creek runs, the water supply is adequate, but the creek hasn’t run during the past two years," Orcutt explained. Also, some of the water in the reservoirs has to be released downstream to users with senior water rights.
Some communities make water expensive when it exceeds an average threshold. This is a strategy the town is considering, in addition to getting an ordinance to require xeriscaping, landscaping for low water use. In past years, the town tried decreasing water use by restricting the days that residents could irrigate outdoors. This strategy had the opposite effect and actually increased water use as people tended to water excessively on their allotted watering days. Trustee Cindy Allen recommended getting good information to Palmer Lake residents, including tips for lowering water usage that would not require major changes in lifestyle.
Committee Reports Highlights
Parks and Recreation: Trustee Allen reported that the Easter Egg Hunt was very successful, with 130 to 150 children participating. The Colorado Lottery and Powerball increased the money to Park Funds, GoCo, and Conservation Trust. Usually the town receives between $4,000 and $5,000 quarterly.
Police: Trustee Eddie Kinney reported that there probably will be a lot of bears in the area this year. Kinney warned residents to lock up their trashcans.
Requests for New Business Licenses
Wayne Griffin of Mountain View Automotive Mobile Service will serve mostly businesses. Jo Ann Olivier of J. Olivier Design will run an interior design service, mostly going to people’s homes. Todd Bell of ConnectTech, LLC will provide engineering design services that lets people monitor and control their homes over the Internet. Brooke and Adam Cooper of American Pacific Lightning will install lightning protection and grounding systems for buildings. All four new business licenses were approved at the town council meeting on April 11.
Land Use Items
Lakeview Heights Filing #2: Attorney Ronald L. Roberts appeared regarding the roads and water lines for the second phase of Lakeview Heights, on the east side of the lake.
The town wants to impose Douglas County road standards that require asphalt, curb, storm drain and gutter.
Willow Creek Landscaping: Dan Potter, Scott Mikulecky, and Brent Hawker appeared to address the landscaping plan for the townhouse development. They intend to design a new plan to bring before the town council May 2 and May 9.
By Judy Barnes
Updated Committee Reports and Input on items not on the agenda
Town Clerk Della Gins announced that the town offices are now open on Wednesday evenings until 8 pm through the summer.
Trustee Susan Miner announced that the annual Fishing Derby will be held June 1. Last year, about one thousand people attended the event. Palmer Lake resident Sue Buell asked if fish would be put into the lake with the water level so low, and if there would be limits to water use. Mayor Nikki McDonald replied that a letter would be sent to residents addressing the water issue, and that the town would probably take steps to help people be more conscientious about conserving water since restrictions did not work in the past. Susan Miner added that fish would be stocked for the fishing derby.
Trustee Scott Russell of the Fire Committee thanked Greg and Julie Lokken, who spent $1,600 of their own money to send Julie to a special class in firefighting equipment.
Trustee Cindy Allen thanked Bob Radosevich, the Roads supervisor, for cleaning up the area for the Easter Egg Hunt. Melissa Gray, the person inside the Easter Bunny costume, also was recognized for her contribution to the Easter event.
Lakeview Heights Filing #2 Hearing
Attorney Ronald Roberts requested approval of the road design as submitted. Bob Radosevich noted that the town had not received a complete road plan. Roberts stated that his client wanted to bring the roads up to the standards of the way they were in 1984, when the original development was approved. The codes at that time required four inches of gravel. Mayor McDonald argued that there were no roads there in 1984. The sanitation district installed a sanitation line there, but the right-of-way was not approved. Trustee Randy Jones added, "The town has rules and regulations of how roads are to be built now, and those are the standards that must be met. Until a court of law says otherwise, you’re going to have to build those roads to Douglas County standards [asphalt, curb, and gutters]." Town Attorney Larry Gaddis stated that if the town never accepted the roads, then the town is not responsible for their maintenance. A motion to deny the request to approve roads in Lakeview Heights Filing #2 was passed unanimously.
Sue Buell submitted a position statement from residents in the first phase of Lakeview Heights discouraging further development of Lakeview Heights. Terri Inloes expressed concerns about the impact on water use of 175 new homes. Mayor McDonald explained that if the homes are not within 400 feet of a water line, then they have to go to the state for a well permit. Once the land is platted, the town cannot stop development. Jess Smith congratulated the board for the stance they took. "Developers should bear the cost [of infrastructure] themselves," said Smith.
Feeding of Big Game Prohibited
Because the town has had problems with bears, deer, and elk, emergency ordinance 2002-9 was passed prohibiting the feeding or attracting of big game wildlife. In addition to prohibiting the scattering of foods to intentionally attract big game, the ordinance addresses securing or removal of outdoor trash, cooking grills, pet food, bird feeders or any similar food source or attractant. The ordinance provides for a warning first. After a warning, the offender must show reasonable effort to take remedial action. For subsequent offenses, the fines will be $50, $75, and $100 plus surcharges to cover court costs. "If residents can secure their trash and other bear attractants, eventually the bears will stop coming around," explained Police Chief Dale Smith.
Oaths of Office Administered
Judge John Ciccolella administered the oath of office to reelected trustees Jones and Russell, Mayor McDonald, and newly elected trustee Chuck Cornell. Attorney Gaddis, Town Clerk Gins, Police Chief Smith, and Fire Chief Lokken were all appointed to office for another term. Judge Ciccolella appeared fit. He is recovering from having been shot in the forehead by an unknown assailant, which resulted in the loss of one eye.
The council granted a special permit to the El Paso County Parks and Leisure Services for the triathlon scheduled for July 7. In the past, the event was hosted in Woodmoor. The race is expected to have 630 adult contestants and 75 young participants, with about 400 spectators.Commission Workshop April 10 and Meeting April 17
By Judy Barnes
Jess Smith requested and was granted a minor change to a PUD for the Lodge at Pinecrest. The change is from an assisted care living center to a bed and breakfast.
Alan Fritts requested a minor change to a PUD for Mission Training International (MTI). He wished to expand the use of MTI to rent rooms to outside groups when no training is scheduled and to use the facility for outside events such as weddings. Two residential neighbors of MTI, Gary Coleman and Chuck Cornell, expressed concerns about noise and traffic, as did the commissioners. Also, parking at MTI is not adequate for the number of people who might attend the events. Fritts withdrew the application.
George Reese requested a conditional use in a C2 zone. Reese intends to sell late model vehicles on Highway 105 at Meadow Lane. Reese was approved for a maximum of 20 vehicles and agreed to have no lights, no signs, and no banners. Rene Furrer, owner of Diacut, raised questions about the piece of land, known as Highway Lane, that Reese would be leasing from the town of Palmer Lake. When Furrer bought his land in 1988, he was told by town staff that Highway Lane was reserved for possible future expansion of Highway 105. He contends that he should have first rights if Highway Lane is available for sale or lease. Meanwhile, he is agreeable to Reese using the land for the auto sales business.Pedestrian Access, Truck Routes, and One-Way Streets
Town planner Mike Davenport records suggestions. Janet Hruby of Tranplan is at the podium.
By John Heiser
The well-attended meeting [April 24] was called to review a preliminary draft of the Town of Monument Downtown Transportation Plan, dated December 20, 2001, prepared by Transplan Associates under contract to the town. The meeting was a lively exchange of ideas on existing transportation problems, how to fix them, and ways to handle future growth. Mike Davenport, Monument town planner, described the meeting as a follow-on to meetings held last fall. The purpose was to review the preliminary draft and collect comments to be incorporated into the final report.
Janet Hruby from Transplan outlined the draft plan and answered questions. Major issues addressed during the 2˝ hour meeting included existing and anticipated problems such as downtown parking, pedestrian and bike connections, and truck traffic.
There was no shortage of problems cited including speeding along Old Denver Highway and in the Grace Best school zone; failure to obey stop signs; sight distance problems at some of the intersections such as Second and Jefferson; lack of crosswalks, curbs, and sidewalks; and insufficient parking in some areas.
The draft plan suggests angled parking on alternating sides of Second St. Even though angled parking offers the potential of additional capacity, Firefighter Gasper Blea said he opposes the use of angle parking because "We don’t want people backing into traffic. The streets are not wide enough." Former Mayor Si Sibel said, "We don’t have a street in Monument wide enough for angled parking. Everybody drives SUVs that are a mile and an half long."
Regarding the amount of parking needed, Davenport said, "Current standards require three to four square feet of parking for every square foot of commercial space. As commercial space grows in downtown, you would have to tear down half the buildings to provide parking. The town may be willing to relax the standards. What should be the priority?" John Dominowski, downtown property owner, said, "I agree to lessening restrictions to allow additional businesses to come in." Jeremy Diggins owner of the Coffee Cup restaurant suggested that relaxed rules be applied for older buildings. Davenport added, "Castle Rock has a hybrid – one standard for preservation another one for new construction."
Tommie Plank, owner of the Covered Treasures Bookstore, said, "We have three large church lots within walking distance." Diggins added, "There are three vacant lots in downtown that used to be parking lots."
Mayor Betty Konarski asked, "What if we do away with parking requirements?" Davenport noted, "What if you are a merchant and businesses come in on both sides of your shop and are not required to provide parking? Regulations are a way to control how you affect your neighbors – a balance of rights." Plank suggested the new businesses "get surrounding business owners to sign off." Diggins said that might lead to discrimination against certain types of businesses.
Planning Commissioner Bob Burgess suggested the use of impact fees to help with the cost of leasing or purchasing parking lots.
Several people noted that people are unwilling to park and walk because of inadequate pedestrian provisions.
Pedestrian and Bike Connections
Richard Pankratz, artist and owner of Pankratz Studios and Gallery, expressed a widely shared view when he said, "You are taking your life in your hands to walk. The biggest issue is we are not pedestrian-friendly. We need curb, gutter and sidewalk." Dominowski added, "That includes street lights."
Suzanne D’Innocenzo, owner of Petal Pushin’, said, "Even employees don’t feel comfortable."
Konarski cited a "discontinuity between creating pedestrian connections and developing a downtown truck route."
There was a difference of opinion as to the size of the problem of large trucks in downtown. Trustee George Brown said, "I haven’t seen that many big trucks." Monica Marky, owner of Toys4Fun, said, "There are a few big trucks in downtown, mostly related to deliveries to the restaurants."
Davenport suggested that improvement of the alleys could provide truck access and reduce truck traffic load on the main streets.
Trustee Doug Warner said, "We need to research restricting the size and weight of trucks allowed. I guarantee trucking companies have trucks that can meet the standards. Tractor-trailers are used now only because there are no restrictions."
Diggins said, "It may increase cost and reduce distributors that can be used." Woody Woodworth, owner of High Country Feed and Garden, added, "Freight is already through the roof."
Dominowski said, "It would create a policing problem. It would be better to find a way to handle those trucks. There is an issue also of the environmental impact of four smaller trucks instead of one big truck."
Warner said, "When completed, Second Street is going to be a major thoroughfare. How about sending the truck traffic to Third Street?" Davenport suggested, "We need to wait a couple of years to see how planned roadwork [extension of Second Street and Beacon Lite] affects traffic patterns."
A Proposal for One-Way Streets
Trustee Christopher Perry suggested making Second Street one-way going west and Third Street one-way going east. While some felt that only truck traffic should be restricted, Police Chief Joe Kissell said, "One way makes sense for all traffic. It is a good idea."
Plank said, "It creates a racetrack effect. People don’t like it. The businesses would suffer." One-way streets can be particularly confusing for tourists and people new to the area.
Former Mayor Leon Tenney later suggested that placing more stop signs at the intersections along Second Street and fewer or none along Third Street could have some of the same effect of directing incoming traffic along Second and outgoing traffic along Third without the drawbacks of one-way streets.
Trustee Warner called for formation of a transportation committee to continue to analyze the problems and suggest solutions.
To get a copy of the preliminary draft plan, submit comments, or to volunteer to join the transportation committee, contact the Town Planning Department at 481-2954.
By Jack Barber
A major event at the Monument Town Council Meeting was the swearing in of five new trustees. George Brown, Byron Glenn, Frank Orten, Christopher Perry, and Doug Warner were administered the oath of office by town clerk Anne Holliday. The newcomers all made important contributions during the evening of town business. Retiring members Ed Delaney, Katy Page, and Faye Elbaum were issued commendations for their past services.
Several appointments were made. Ed Delaney was tapped to serve on the Parks and Landscaping Committee. Byron Glenn and Frank Orten agreed to serve as alternate members on the Board of Adjustments. Town Manager Rick Sonnenburg was appointed as interim treasurer until that position is filled. Anne Holliday will remain as the town clerk and Gary Shupp will continue to be the town attorney. The legal firm of Krassa and Miller will continue to represent Monument for water issues.
Tommie Plank reported that the Historic Monument Merchants’ Association voted not apply for a grant from the Community Development Fund in order to make a donation to the Palmer Lake Fireworks Committee. It is the belief of the group that monies from this fund, generated by town business licenses, should support more permanent projects. Town Manager Rick Sonnenburg suggested that Monument’s contribution be discussed after a review of the 2001 audit before the May council meeting.
Gary Flanders, representing GeoTech, a proposed recycling company in Monument, reviewed the scope, need and location for this business and it’s relation to other governmental entities. The proposed location is a five-acre parcel on the northeast corner of the intersection of North Washington Street and Highway 105. The facility would recycle tree slash, brush, old roofing, concrete and asphalt, turning these into such things as mulch and driveway materials. Their request for permission to begin work was denied on the grounds that they have not yet submitted a proper plan to the authorities overseeing such developments.
The continuing problem with the water service to the Monument Meadows Mobile Home Park was resolved after it was discovered that, in addition to substantial leaking inside the park, the town’s water meter had been placed too close to the pressure reducing valve, and thus had been over-reading the amount by a factor of three to one. A credit will be issued for incorrect billing and it was noted that the owner of the mobile park should be praised for his positive actions during what must have been a difficult time for his business. At this point, the problem appears to be resolved.
Mayor Betty Konarski reported that positions on the Town Planning Commission have not been filled, in spite of advertising. Interested community members are encouraged to apply.
Priorities for the 5C Department of Transportation Grant application were set. The most important was deemed to be corner curb extensions on Second Street. Other requests were for pedestrian walkways for Second Street, curb and gutters for Lavelett and Limbach parks and bicycle crossings. It is the consensus of the board that improvements for Second Street downtown should be top priority items due to the imminent construction of the extension.
Police Chief Joe Kissell reported that it is likely that a federal grant will be approved for eight new ballistic vests for officers. He also reported that town officers now have authority to police traffic on Highway 105 in Monument. DUI and other felony offenses will be referred to El Paso County.
It was determined that some overtime pay for city workers during the years 1994 through 1996 was not dispensed. This was due to an overtime policy that existed during those years and a half-monthly pay period instead of an every two-week pay period. It will be resolved by immediate payments to these individuals in the amount of $5,609.67.
By W. Lowell Morgan
The Monument Planning Commission met on Wednesday April 10. They heard and approved the Carriages and Jackson Creek final plat and final PD site plan and the Peak View Ridge, 2nd Amendment final plat and combined preliminary plat/preliminary PD/final PD site plan. The former in on the SW corner of Leatherchaps Drive and Lyons Tail Road in Jackson Creek and the latter is south of Santa Fe Avenue at South Jefferson Street. Because the homeowners east of The Carriages had been promised that their view would not be obstructed the houses to be built in The Carriages have been limited to one story with, perhaps, walk-out basements.
The Planning Commission next meets on Wednesday May 8 at 6:30pm at Monument Town Hall.
By John Heiser
Special Meeting Set for May 1
Monument Trustee Byron Glenn said that some Jackson Creek residents are upset about perceived financial problems with the district. He reported that at a Jackson Creek meeting called to discuss formation of a homeowners association (HOA), "Individuals were a little excited because they don’t understand. The district needs to present the facts."
A point of particular concern was an annotation in the 1998 audit report saying that "The district may be in violation of budgetary statutes."
CPA Jim Thieme explained that this was due to "an ambiguity in administration between the state division of local governments and the state audit agency." At issue was the handling of depreciation. Thieme said, "I don’t believe there is any wrong doing with respect to the law."
Peter Susemihl, attorney for the district, described it as a budgetary problem. He said, "It was an over expenditure in one category. You didn’t spend money you didn’t have or collect monies you didn’t have a right to."
Ron Simpson, Triview manager, attributed the annotation to "a difference of opinion from two agencies." He added, "If we were in violation of the law we would be gone by now."
Triview director John Riesberg asked, "Is it appropriate for this to be brought up in a HOA meeting?"
Glenn cited freedom of speech and again requested that the district meet with the Jackson Creek residents.
The board decided to meet with Jackson Creek residents on Wednesday, May 1.
Formation of a Jackson Creek Homeowners Association
Glenn went on to say that the residents who met to consider formation of an HOA also discussed taking over maintenance of the open space in Jackson Creek.
Susemihl noted that for the formation of an HOA, "You need 100% of the property owners to sign to change the covenants." He added that maintenance of the open space should be the responsibility of some entity that is more reliable than an HOA.
Turning to the Triview board, Susemihl said, "You can’t abrogate your responsibility to maintain the open space."
Martha Gurnick, Jackson Creek resident and candidate for Triview director, said, "We do have some homeowners who ignore the covenants."
Rick Blevins of Jackson Creek Vision Development company said, "You are limited by what is recorded. You need to get an attorney to see how to enforce those covenants." He added that when the meeting was held to turn over responsibility for Lariat Ranch to the property owners "only three people showed up."
Financial Analysis with and without Wal-Mart
Financial analyst Rick Giardina presented a report summarizing projections of the Triview district’s financial future. Giardina said he has been working with the district since 1995. The report covered projections for 2002 through 2011 using a variety of combinations of assumptions. Two principal assumptions were opening of the Wal-Mart supercenter across from King Soopers and platting of 300 to 600 single-family equivalent (SFE) units per year over the next five to six years. According to Giardina, the report was prepared as part of the Wal-Mart submittal to the county.
Giardina noted that the platting rate, that is the rate at which plats for new Jackson Creek residential and commercial lots are planned and approved, is central to refinancing and repaying the district’s debt. Simpson noted that the time from platting to increased revenue to the district is typically three years.
His analysis also assumed a 3% "inclusion fee" on taxable items would be split with half going to the district and half going to a public improvement corporation (PIC). He projected that the PIC could repay the anticipated $3 million in bonds needed for infrastructure improvements necessitated by the store within four to six years. After that, he assumed all of the 3% fee would go to the district even though Wal-Mart has not signed an agreement to that effect.
In response to a question from Triview director Bud Weis, Giardina said the assumptions included no increase in the mill levy cap.
Blevins said, "300 to 600 [SFE units per year] is pretty aggressive. It was 100 this year and 150 last year."
Giardina replied that the year-to-year variation would not have a "material impact." But the average rate must be in the 300 to 600 SFE range for the results of the projections to be realized.
Simpson said the projections are updated periodically based on platting. If the development does not occur then much of the infrastructure would not be needed. "If they come, we will build it." He added that there is a limit to that line of thinking. The district had to build about $7 million in infrastructure just to serve the first house in 1998. According to Simpson, the district needs about 18 months lead time to build infrastructure.
Weis noted that with the April 2003 debt refinancing anticipated in the report, there would be a fixed repayment schedule with full amortization over 20 years unlike the present bonds that have a flexible repayment schedule.
Blevins added, "Refinancing $24 million and issuing $11 million in new debt is pretty aggressive."
Giardina said, "The plan does not obligate the board to refinance in April 2003. [Using the assumptions in the plan,] You could pay off 100% of the existing debt in eight to twelve years. Without the Wal-Mart add five to ten years."
Riesberg added, "If Wal-Mart doesn’t come, all we will do is extend [repayment]."
Giardina replied, "Some increases in tap fees are necessary even if Wal-Mart comes. To fund the refinancing, there will be higher tap fee increases without Wal-Mart. Without refinancing, you can mitigate some increases but that will extend repayment time ten to twenty years." Tap fees are payments made by developers and builders for connection to the district’s utility services.
Glenn asked what land use plan was assumed in preparing the report. Simpson replied that they used the current approved plan.
In response to another question from Glenn, Simpson said that having the Wal-Mart would represent about the same as 30 SFEs per year.
Asked if further studies are planned, Simpson said, "I have spent most of the money I should have spent on this."
Susemihl added, "It is one scenario. No action is required."
One other possible scenario that was suggested for further study was Wal-Mart plus 150-300 SFEs per year.
Riesberg asked, "Other districts competing with us [for the Wal-Mart] – is that reality?"
Simpson said, "Donala has done some analysis and the Wal-Mart people did meet with them. Forest Lakes has been trying to get Wal-Mart on their site. For enough money Forest Lakes or Donala could serve them."
Thieme reported that the 2001 audit is underway. The plan is to have a draft in May with the final in June. The report is due to the state in July.
Monument Land Use Actions
Mike Davenport, Monument planner, reported that the Carriages at Jackson Creek final plat will be heard by the Monument board of trustees May 6. Planning for Homestead filing #3 with 76 single-family lots is nearly completed.
Commercial development north of King Soopers is being considered. That would require a zone change from multi-family residential - ten dwelling units per acre (PRD-10) to planned commercial development (PCD).
The comprehensive plan update has been on hold awaiting budget reevaluation. This has given the special districts time to submit comments on the draft. So far four of the ten districts have submitted comments. Once clearance is given by the Monument board to restart the effort, Davenport plans to meet with Simpson and three major Jackson Creek area landowners. After that, the steering and advisory committees will review the plan and make a recommendation to the planning commission. If the planning commission adopts the plan, it will be forwarded to the board of trustees for possible endorsement.
Director Gary Walters asked, "So are our concerns still being considered?"
Davenport replied, "It is the right thing to do even though we disagree that it is legally required."
The Heritage Grant effort will be restarted with a meeting planned for May 3.
Blevins added, "We are submitting the third amendment to the zoning map to include all the currently platted subdivisions." Davenport noted that the amendment is a three party deal with the town, Triview, and the landowners. He said, "All three have to agree."
In response to a question, Davenport said, "There has been no contact with Wal-Mart since last year when they asked for Forest Lakes information."
Davenport noted that the Baptist Road improvement project is using the existing zoning map rather than the future land use map in the draft comprehensive plan.
Construction Manager, Developer, and Bondholder Report
Blevins reported that work on trails and landscaping is two to three weeks behind schedule. There has been some irrigation problems with missing water taps. Trees have died and must be replaced. The detention pond by the school has been completed. Water treatment plant B is expected to start operation in mid-May. They are awaiting delivery of some pumps and controllers.
The renaming of the 2001 bonds to 2002 bonds approved last month is now judged not necessary so the 2001 nomenclature will be used.
Chuck Ritter, Triview engineer, reported that the water reuse report has been submitted to the state. Ritter expressed regret that in the meantime, potable water will have to be used for irrigation and to control dust during grading.
He also reported on an April 16 meeting with Colorado Springs Utilities. A principal topic was the possibility of connecting a gravity sewer into the Air Force Academy’s north side treatment plant. Although the proposed costs are now more attractive, no reuse water is planned which is a "deal killer" for Triview. Ritter said the Donala district that serves Gleneagle is very interested in the plan. Colorado Springs Utilities would treat them as an out of district customer.
Simpson added, "It might simplify things for Donala then we need to look at what it would cost to buy out Donala’s interest in the water treatment plant.
Simpson said the district’s new Arapahoe aquifer well, A7, should be tied into the water system within about 10 days. This is important in case of fire given the present "red flag" fire risk. There have been three fires in the Donala district in the past two weeks.
Riesberg asked, "Will the drought affect us."
Simpson replied, "Alluvial wells may have trouble. Ours are deep wells. It would take decades to have problems."
Susemihl added that weather generally goes in ten-year cycles. The latest wet cycle just completed lasted 16 years.
Simpson said the district has prepared an irrigation pamphlet for distribution with water bills. The board decided to pay $0.80 each to have them printed in color. He noted, "New lawns need more water." He said that there are a small number of high water users. Some pay water bills of as much as $300 per month.
Walters Estate Agreement
Susemihl related the history of the agreement with the estate of Vern Walters. The 1987 agreement gave the district a tank site in exchange for reuse water for a proposed golf course, 10 free water taps, and rights to half of the Dawson aquifer water. A subsequent revision included elimination of the free reuse water and provision of combined water-sewer taps at a reduced cost of $5,000 each. The latest revision gave another site and access road and released the water rights to the district in exchange for extending the reduced tap fees to 2012. The amendment was approved with directors Gary Walters and Kathy Walters abstaining. Rick Blevins noted that the developer and bondholder also must approve the agreement.
Dale Hill, Triview administrator and election official, reported that every thing is ready for the election May 7 at Creekside Middle School. The canvassing board composed of Byron Glenn, Gary Walters, and Dale Hill will meet May 9 to certify the election results.
Susemihl reported that in the original 1986 service plan for the district, water rights were to be leased and purchased through a long-term agreement. So far there have not been any lease or purchase payments. Due to escalation clauses in the plan, the cost now would be about $5,000 per acre-foot. The developer has proposed a new agreement that would yield an average cost of less than $3,200 per acre-foot.
Weis asked, "Can we continue not to pay?"
Susemihl replied, "This is something we need to clean up. It could be included in the debt refinancing. The district is not capable of handling it now."
Simpson said, "The 1986 agreement put us in a bind."
Susemihl said, "It is customary that the developer holds back water rights as an asset."
By John Heiser
Letter of censure issued over campaign materials
In an unusual move, at the Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting April 23, four of the directors, two of whom are running for reelection, signed a letter of censure against the fifth member of the board, Glenn Scott, who is also running for reelection. The letter alleges that Scott’s advertising material makes unsubstantiated claims that the board is mismanaging the district, made inappropriate expenditures on equipment and facilities, and is slow in responding to emergencies. The letter also alleges that Scott released information discussed in executive session.
Oscar Gillespie, John Hildebrandt, Gary Morgan, and Charles Pocock signed the letter. Hildebrandt and Pocock are running for reelection May 7. Without public discussion, the letter was approved by a vote of 4 to 1 immediately following an executive session requested by Hildebrandt and Pocock.
When contacted later, Scott said regarding mismanagement, "As a board, we’ve had opportunities to make the right things happen but they eluded us for a variety of reasons all of which point to a need for a more intense concentration on our management techniques." Regarding inappropriate expenditures, Scott responded, "Our statement on this subject refers to the purchase of the ladder truck and construction of new station #1, not current activities. We feel a closely coordinated effort with Woodmoor-Monument would have brought about a different and more effective solution had the two departments been more open." On the issue of response times, Scott said, "What we mean is that response times to the eastern sector of the district are slower than they need to be. With a manned station in the eastern sector, our average overall time would be reduced even lower than it is now."
Chief Keith Jensen reported that a record 319 absentee ballot requests have been received so far. This suggests that the district will see a much greater turnout than in any prior election. Requests for absentee ballots must be received no later than the close of business on May 3. Mail-in ballots must be received no later than Tuesday, May 7. Ballots may be cast in person between 7 am and 7 pm on Tuesday, May 7 at Fire Station #1 on Highway 105 near the bowling alley.
Recent Fires and High Fire Danger
Chief Jensen reported that as of April 23, the district responded to 261 incidents. Wild land fire danger status is "red flag" which, Jensen said, "is the highest level of fire danger there is." Some air tankers for fighting wild land fires are already stationed in the state. A specialized group of "hot shot" fire fighters is expected next week. The Chief reported that the district was first on the scene at a recent fire east of I-25 near Gleneagle even though that fire occurred in the Donald Wescott district. Wescott has not yet restored the automatic mutual aid agreement with the Tri-Lakes district. The Tri-Lakes district was also one of the first on the scene at a recent 40-acre grass fire in the Franktown district east of Highway 83 and north of Country Line Road.
The "draft final" report on the planning and unification feasibility study is completed and should be received shortly. The Tri-Lakes district, the Woodmoor-Monument district and the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department are sponsoring the study. An additional $5,000 was provided from the Heritage Grant for regional planning. Changes to the report are due back to the consultant by May 10. The final report is expected May 15. [See the story "TLFPD Meeting on Draft Feasibility Study"]
Thus far, the district has expended 15% of its budget even though the year is 25% over. The new ambulance was paid off over the past year. Due to some unexpected repairs to equipment (e.g., $6,000 repair to a pumper), the budget will need to be adjusted. A budget review is planned for the June 30 meeting.
Jensen reported that the district has acquired two laptop computers. One will be carried on medical responses and one will be used for fire responses. These computers will give the emergency personnel access to background information on the way to the scene and during the incident.
On July 15, the district will celebrate 25 years since it was created. An open house at the firehouse is planned for July 13.
Memorial Park Planned
The district is planning construction of a memorial garden to honor deceased firefighters. A portion of the memorial will include recognition of the loss of life on September 11. Rick Barnes presented drawings of the proposed memorial. The board voted unanimously that Steve Johnson, former district firefighter and board member, should be included in the memorial.
By John Heiser
The Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District (TLFPD) Board of Directors held a special meeting April 29 to review a working draft of the feasibility study jointly commissioned by the Tri-Lakes district, the Woodmoor-Monument Fire Protection District (WMFPD), and the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department (PLVFD). The Heritage Grant for regional planning provided additional funding. Copies of the draft report have not been released to the public or other fire organizations such as the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District that serves Gleneagle.
Directors Oscar Gillespie, John Hildebrandt, Charles Pocock, and Glenn Scott attended the meeting. The fifth director, Gary Morgan, was absent. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare comments on the draft so the report can be finalized. As a sign of the immaturity of the report, problems were noted with page numbering and a list of errata was received the day of the meeting.
Overall, Pocock said, "I am kind of disappointed in the report. I expected more specific recommendations – a list and justifications. Rather, it gives a general approach."
Tri-Lakes Chief Keith Jensen added that the general approach recommended in the report would be unification of the Tri-Lakes and Woodmoor-Monument districts and then contract for services by Palmer Lake. An alternative would be unification of all three fire organizations. Other options explored included unification of Tri-Lakes and Palmer Lake and unification of Woodmoor-Monument and Palmer Lake.
One of the recurring issues in any proposed unification with Palmer Lake is that unlike the WMFPD that receives a property tax of 9.5 mills and the TLFPD that receives 7.01 mills, the PLVFD has no property tax mill levy but is funded out of the town’s general fund. An April 2 ballot measure to impose a 6-mill property tax to fund the fire department was defeated by Palmer Lake voters 154 to 105. Issues surrounding the controversial ballot measure included double taxation of residents who are in the town and also in the TLFPD and uncertainty that the money would only be used for the fire department.
Pocock brought a draft memo citing six areas of the report needing improvement: ambulance service recommendations, fire station recommendations, schedule, cost and revenue projections, and Palmer Lake recommendations.
Ambulance Service Recommendations
Scott summarized the first area needing improvement, "They need to better state the recommendation regarding ambulance service. The recommendations need to be collected." It was agreed that the final report should more clearly state that TLFPD should handle Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and transport. Hildebrandt noted that $117K per year is now going to the American Medical Response company for Tri-Lakes area ambulance service.
The report noted "an inordinate number of refusals by patients" to be transported by TLFPD ambulances. The report said the percentage of calls that result in transports is below national averages. Ron Thompson, TLFPD EMS Coordinator, explained that many TLFPD calls are associated with I-25 accidents where there is vehicle damage but drivers and passengers are not injured. He added that other ambulance services commonly cancel a call if they get to the scene and no transport is needed whereas the TLFPD records it as a refusal of transport.
Fire Station Recommendations
Pocock said, "They strongly recommend that rather than developing TLFPD station #2 [at Roller Coaster and Highway 105], [the unified district] should sell the Woodmoor-Monument fire station and build a new station at Furrow Road." The purpose would be to reduce the close proximity of the two principal stations. Pocock said that much of the growth in the area will be to the east. He noted that the developments along Highway 83 such as Hawk Ridge, Walden, and Cherry Creek Crossing are all more than six minutes away from the proposed Furrow Road station. Pocock calculated that it would cost about $1 million to expand station #2 whereas it would cost about $1.5 million to purchase land and build a station on Furrow Road.
The report recommends building a third station in the Forest Lakes area west of I-25. This raises access issues since the proposed station would be west of the at-grade crossing of the railroad tracks.
Noting that the decision to build or close stations has significant ramifications, Hildebrandt said, "I don’t think we should make any land purchases or sales anytime soon."
The third area for improvement cited in Pocock’s memo was the projected 18-month schedule for functional and operational merging with real and legal merging being completed by January 2005. Pocock felt a more realistic schedule would be to target functional and operational merging by the district election in May 2004.
Chief Jensen noted, "Just agreeing on a standard personnel manual could take eight months."
Cost and Revenue Projections
Pocock questioned the projected excess revenues. He said that revenue to the combined districts was escalated by the Boulder-Denver consumer price index but the costs were not. In particular, he cited the costs of building and equipping new stations. Depending on how unification is handled, the mill rate might be 7.01, 7.8, or 9.5. This will affect the revenue projections. Pocock expressed disappointment that the revenue projections were for only five years rather than twenty years.
Hildebrandt said, "The theory of working together will work. The dollar projections are less persuasive."
Scott said, "How we can improve ISO rating is sadly lacking." ISO ratings are used by some insurance companies to set fire insurance policy premiums. Scott added, "If we could show reduced insurance cost, it would be a selling point." Chief Jensen said, "An ISO rating of 4, 5 or 6 is all the same. In the next 10 years, ISO is going away. Insurance companies are increasingly using fire history data."
Palmer Lake Recommendations
Hildebrandt noted that the report recommends building a new fire station in Palmer Lake. Pocock asked, "Why do they feel they need a fire station in Palmer Lake? It is within 4-minute response time from TLFPD station #1." Hildebrandt said, "The report’s recommendations would be easier to swallow if you don’t have to build a station in Palmer Lake. I am curious to see what Palmer Lake’s response will be."
Several directors and the Chief remarked on the amount of redundancy in the report.
Hildebrandt said, "The momentum is toward having a relationship and working together. That is where we need to move."
Pocock suggested that a working group be formed between TLFPD and WMFPD with two board members and a department representative from each to meet monthly. The group should start by developing a prioritized list of all the things that need to be done.
Hildebrandt estimated that it would cost the TLFDP $40,000 to $50,000 per year for an additional person to help coordinate the unification.
The Chief said, "Adopting the whole report as is isn’t going to work." Scott added, "A major topic [for board discussion] has to be are we going forward with this or not."
Several board members took actions to revise sections of Pocock’s draft memo. Once completed the memo will be sent to the consultant for use in finalizing the report. The final report is expected to be completed by May 15.recommends approval of Falcon View, denial of Phillips Ranch
By John Heiser
At the El Paso County Planning Commission meeting April 16, the commission unanimously recommended approval of the proposed Falcon View Planned Unit Development (PUD) rezoning with a modified plan that would allow up to 138 single family houses on 30 acres approximately 0.75 mile north of Northgate Road, south of the Academy View mini-storage, and east of Struthers Road.
The existing zoning is RR-3 calling for single-family houses on five-acre parcels; however, the surrounding densities vary. To the north, there are lots that average 8,300 square feet. The lots to the east average about 13,000 square feet. To the south, there are townhouses with an average of about 7,500 square feet per dwelling unit. The land to the west between Struthers Road and I-25 is vacant but zoned for commercial development. One use of PUD zoning is to allow transition in lot sizes to accommodate this sort of situation. The lots in the plan vary from 4,800 square feet to over 20,000 square feet with an average somewhat greater than 6,000 square feet.
County planning department staff materials included the note "Staff is uncomfortable with projects of this density in rural locations, suspecting that projects of this nature may be placing considerable burdens on school, fire, police, and transportation services and not providing adequate recreation facilities." While finding that the proposal is consistent with the Tri-Lakes area comprehensive plan adopted in 1999, they added that "the proposed PUD development standards are quite minimalist and essentially in all cases afford the developer additional relief from the typical conventional zoning standards. There is essentially no added amenity or design value being provided by the PUD."
Adrian Stanciu of LDC, Inc. presented the proposal. During the meeting, Stanciu agreed to eliminate three or four lots to reduce the density on the east to 10 lots, each about 10,000 square feet. This was consistent with a recommendation from the NEPCO Land Use Committee and a better match to the adjacent lot sizes. It also answered one of the larger objections posed by the planning department.
As one of three nearby residents who spoke in opposition to the project, Mildred Stevens, a six year resident on Westchester Drive in Gleneagle just to the east of the proposed development, said, "We realized development would come but hoped it wouldn’t be quite so dense."
Ann Wood, a 17 year resident on Westchester Drive, expressed concern about drainage west from Gleneagle through the Falcon View parcels. Photos were presented of storm water problems along Westchester Drive. Stevens noted that the culvert under Westchester Drive is half full of silt.
Stanciu said a 54" buried storm drain is planned to carry the water to the detention area in the northwest corner of the development. In response to a question from Wood, Paul Danley of the County Department of Transportation said, "[The drain and detention area] ought to be a county facility." Noting that a mapped FEMA flood plain goes through the project, Danley said the flood plain must be redefined with FEMA, taking into consideration the drainage facilities, before houses can be built. Danley said, "We still have concerns. Overflow from the storm drain would have to be carried along a road through the subdivision; however, we do think it can be done. It can be engineered."
Another controversial aspect of the proposal was the use of the storm water detention area as a playground for children. Stanciu said, "Play areas in detention ponds are used in Denver, New Mexico, and elsewhere, especially in arid climates."
Another Tri-Lakes area project considered at the meeting was the proposed Phillips Ranch Subdivision at the corner of Roller Coaster Road and Higby Road. The request was to rezone 35 acres from RR-3 to PUD to allow nine lots ranging from 3.1 to 7.8 acres with an average of 3.3 acres and 3.89 acres per dwelling unit gross density including an internal private cul-de-sac. The present RR-3 zoning would allow a maximum of six lots, 5 acres or more each.
The planning department recommended denial of the project due to inconsistency with the Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan. The Tri-Lakes Land Use Committee agreed saying, "The Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan does not support this proposal and the applicants have offered no justification or solutions to mitigate the impacts they propose to create."
David Jones representing the owners argued that the parcel is in a transitional area between 2.5-acre and 5-acre lot areas and is consistent with the Tri-Lakes plan. He said, "Those three lots [the difference between 6 and 9 total] are important to us."
Planning commissioner Will Brown, who owns the farm on the north, recused himself from the vote and argued against the project that he said should have lots no smaller than 5 acre each.
The planning commission unanimously voted to recommend denial of the proposed rezoning and associated preliminary plan.
The planning commission recommendations are then forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for a final decision.
By Chris Pollard
Recycling in this area is relevant to everybody who lives here. Most resources are finite in nature and some have been harvested beyond their sustainable limit in the case of certain varieties and species of fish and trees. Good old growth redwood or cedar is a rare commodity that has largely been replaced by arsenic-laced treated lumber. Fish such as Cod, Orange Roughy, and Salmon are no longer available in the quantities they once were.
We also have a local issue in that almost all of us are dependent on well water – some of which is replenished by surface water. Fortunately the area has not historically been a large farming or industrial area so there has been little chance of leaks or leaching of chemicals. The County has a good bi-annual collection program for hazardous waste that allows the recycling of difficult to get rid of items like used engine oil, antifreeze, car tires, paint and other chemicals. So, largely this sector of recycling has been well covered. Additionally, some local computer companies have recently started an annual recycling program for computers, monitors and other computer related items so the large quantities of lead and other heavy metals and contaminants they contain do not reach our landfills and groundwater. We are also lucky in having a local site to recycle clean styrofoam (not food related) at Tuscarora on Garden of the Gods Road.
There are two other areas of recycling that are more common. The obvious one is the usual newspapers, magazines, soda bottles and cans that are generally collected curbside. For the doubters on newspaper recycling – yes the market is still there – they are not trashed. Other items can be recycled fairly readily. Corrugated cardboard is recyclable for money at the Waste Management facility on 4th St. off Stone in Colorado Springs. It is also possible in Boulder County area to recycle cardboard juice containers, glass bottles and jars, lead acid batteries, metal appliances, and even the bulky paper board (your cereal and cracker type box material). With care, the family trash can be reduced to half of a small barrel per week.
How does this usually work? Material is collected curbside or from larger collecting containers from such places as Safeway and King Soopers. It is usually taken to a site like the Waste Management facility where it is sorted (by hand in some cases) into unmixed piles and then baled and put onto railcars that are parked adjacent to the facility.
There is also another area of recycling that is big in the state and has received more publicity in the demolition of Stapleton airport and Mile High stadium where companies paid for the privilege of removing the concrete and steel. This recycling is known by the term C&D or Construction and Demolition. It usually involves a large grinding machine and the same or similar machines are used for concrete and large volumes of trees. The process is usually carried out far from residential areas because it is noisy and, in the case of concrete, dusty. If you were lucky enough to traverse I-70 through Kansas over the past couple of years the process was used extensively in the highway’s reconstruction to minimize the use of new material.
A company called GeoTech recently applied to the trustees of the Town of Monument to build a recycling facility in the north end of town. The initial stated purpose is to recycle materials, such as tree limbs, from the fire safety programs into mulch on a commercial basis. GeoTech also proposes to recycle roofing materials, asphalt and concrete.
With large open areas still available near the Old Denver Road and in parts of the Jackson Creek development a small seasonal mulching facility would seem a reasonable enterprise that would have been taken up by the likes of Colorado Structures or R & R Rock Yard to provide raw materials for their business use. The application from Geotech cited the need for such a service throughout the summer as cause to grant them immediate permission to put such a facility in place.
Yard waste is already recyclable at two facilities – Rocky Top Resources, near South Circle Drive, in Colorado Springs and in the Black Forest Slash-Mulch program at Shoup and Herring in the Black Forest. Details of exactly what can be recycled there and the facilities hours can be obtained from El Paso County Solid Waste Management at 575-8450 or www.co.el-paso.co.us/solidwst.
2002 El Paso County--Solid Waste Management Black Forest Slash-Mulch Schedule: May 18 through August 25: Saturdays and Sundays, 8:30 am to 4 pm, Thursday evenings, 6:30 until dusk.
The slash mulch site is at the southeast corner of Shoup and Herring Roads in Black Forest.
The Black Forest Slash-Mulch Program is a wildfire mitigation and recycling program of the El Paso County Solid Waste Management Department, John Fisher, Director. It is co-sponsored by the Colorado Forestry Association and the Black Forest Fire Department, in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service and the State Board of Land Commissioners.
Call (719) 575-8450 for additional information, or visit the website: bfslash.org
By Judy Barnes
The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) hosted their annual healthy forest workshop at the Woodmoor Barn on April 16. Thirty-five people turned out to learn about mountain pine beetle (MPB), dwarf mistletoe, and forest health from a presentation by Dennis Will, Assistant District Forester with Colorado State Forest Service. Will pointed out that the Tri-Lakes and the Black Forest areas are predominately ponderosa pine forests. This monoculture (one species) makes the forest susceptible to outbreaks of mountain pine beetle and dwarf mistletoe, which both attack ponderosa pine. If property owners choose to plant trees, they should plant other species of trees that are less vulnerable to these infestations. Such species include trees such as Colorado blue spruce, Douglas fir, and white fir. Will described in detail the life cycles of MPB, Ips beetles, and dwarf mistletoe. He also described preventative spraying for beetle, and used slides to show how to recognize signs of infestation. Will also explained how to treat infested trees.
Mountain pine beetle is the number one killer of ponderosa pines. Beetles attack weakened trees that are less able to defend themselves. Overcrowding is the chief cause of tree weakness. The best defense is thinning out small trees, leaving the largest trees with plenty of space between them. Thinning promotes long-term health and vigor of trees, making them less susceptible to insect and disease problems. Will further emphasized the extreme fire danger we all face under current drought conditions. Thinning the forest is an important means of minimizing the devastating effects of a wildfire.
In cooperation with the Woodmoor/Monument Fire Protection District, the WIA encourages residents to thin out their trees; especially those that are scraggly and overcrowded. Ideal spacing between large trees is to have at least 10 feet between tree crowns. A written permit from the WIA is required to remove trees greater than 4 inches in diameter. As a reminder to Woodmoor residents, failure to obtain a permit can result in a fine of up to $1,000 per tree.
Before planting any trees or shrubs, residents are encouraged to contact the Colorado Springs Utilities Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at 668-4555 or www.csu.or/xeri. They can provide information on the most drought tolerant species.
By Bob Pietsch
The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) Tree Monitor program began more than 25 years ago when Woodmoor was established. Initially, the purpose of the Tree Monitors was to grant permits for the removal of trees. Removal of trees without a permit is a Covenant violation. Over the years, the program has evolved into what is essentially a community-wide forest stewardship program. This is accomplished by the cooperative efforts of the Colorado State Forest Service, the WIA Forestry and Common Areas Committee including the Tree Monitors, the Woodmoor/Monument Fire Protection District, and individual property owners.
Tree Monitors are volunteers trained to identify problems and make evaluations related to the Woodmoor forest. Woodmoor has more than 25 trained Tree Monitors. Some are certified Colorado State University Master Gardeners. A few have undergraduate degrees in Forest Management or related fields. Most have learned by volunteering their time for "on the job" training with experienced Tree Monitors. Collectively, they spend hundreds of hours and travel hundreds of miles throughout Woodmoor each year helping and advising property owners on matters related to our urban forest.
Training of Tree Monitors is also accomplished by attending the annual Forestry Workshop conducted by the Colorado State Forest Service, District Office, from Woodland Park. This free workshop is offered to all members of the Tri-Lakes community and is held at the Woodmoor Barn. In addition to this CSFS workshop, Woodmoor conducts half-day training sessions for prospective Tree Monitors.
The WIA Tree Monitor program functions to offer Woodmoor residents, free of charge, evaluations of trees and provides specific recommendations on such matters as:
This year the WIA, in cooperation with the Woodmoor/Monument Fire Protection District, is emphasizing the urgent need for property owners to thin their stands of trees to help minimize the effects of a catastrophic wildfire.
Thanks to Marian Taylor, the retiring WIA Director of Forestry and Common Areas, Woodmoor has received formal recognition from the CSFS for the highly successful implementation of a federal program to reduce forest fuel loads. The program is designed to educate property owners on the need to thin out dense stands of trees to mitigate the effects of devastating wildfires. This is the second year of the program and it is an ongoing effort throughout Woodmoor. Marian continues to be the driving force behind this program. Along with her husband Jim, she also continues to volunteer for Tree Monitor duties when called upon.
By Steve Waldmann
It is widely believed that that money buys influence in Washington. On February 14, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240 to 189 to pass Campaign Finance Reform. That bill significantly reduces the amount of "soft money" that can be used in the political process. "Soft money" is essentially unregulated and undisclosed money that businesses, unions, political action committees, and individuals contribute to parties. The bill also increased from $1,000 to $2,000 the amount of "hard money" that can be contributed to politicians. "Hard money" is money given by individuals and must be disclosed.
Six Representatives did not vote on the bill. One of those six was our own Republican Representative Joel Hefley. Sarah Sheldon, Representative Hefley’s Press Secretary, stated that Representative Hefley did not vote on the Campaign Finance Reform bill because the bill was passed at approximately 3 a.m. and Representative Hefley believes that important government business, like Campaign Finance Reform, should be conducted in the light of day. Sheldon stated that if Representative Hefley had voted, he would have opposed the legislation.
Once the Campaign Finance Reform Bill passed the House, it moved on to the Senate for action. On March 20, 2002, both of our Republican Senators, Wayne Allard and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, voted against Campaign Finance Reform. However, their votes were in the minority and the measure passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 60 to 40.
According to Sean Conway, Senator Allard’s Press Secretary, Senator Allard has repeatedly introduced bills that would require full disclosure of campaign contributions and that Senator Allard believes it is crucial ordinary citizens be able to find out who is contributing to politicians. Mr. Conway also stated that Senator Allard would not support any Campaign Finance Bill that Senator Allard believed was unconstitutional.
When asked whether Senator Allard believes that campaign contributions buy access to politicians or influence legislation, Conway stated that the answer is no. Conway asserted that political contributions are made because the contributor supports the positions of the politician. He stated that Senator Allard does support the increase in the "hard money" limits.
Like Senator Allard, Ralph Nader supports full disclosure of campaign contributions. Nader recently proposed that campaign contributions be listed on politicians’ web sites. A review of the web sites of Representative Hefley, Senator Allard, and Senator Campbell did not reveal the names of their financial contributors; however, that information can be found at www.opensecrets.org.
On March 27, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 into law.
Senator Campbell’s office refused to be interviewed for this story.
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What I witnessed as a past supporter and committee volunteer for Tri-Rec made me very skeptical of the organization. I became increasingly concerned when I began hearing and reading things I believe are not true. My concerns mounted when I discovered that the County was not aware of Tri-Rec’s activities and policy changes because Tri-Rec never filed required annual reports. Consequently, it is my opinion that the county has been in the dark on many issues, including possible misuse of Conservation Trust Funds and shaky financial planning. My conscience got the best of me, and after dialogue, validation and encouragement from county and state officials, I filed a request for action/investigation with El Paso Board of County Commissioners and requested that 15 questions relating to Tri-Rec activity be addressed.
County Commissioner Duncan Bremer recently told me that my questions are valid and that he has concerns as well, but added that he does not think the County wants to dedicate resources to the matter at this time. As of April 22nd, the County had not answered any of the 15 questions. However, predictably, Tri-Rec has responded and stands on a self-vindication platform with which I strongly disagree. It is difficult to prove an injustice when there is no authority with which to plead your case. (Tri-Rec answers only to its constituents, unless the county or a district resident takes them to court.) An unofficial statement made by a County Attorney at the hearing on April 8th contradicted an opinion I received from the same office weeks earlier. One said there are problems with Tri-Rec; the other said there are not. A County Planning Official told me not to expect any follow-up or action by the county before the May 7th election when they may have to address the Conservation Trust Fund issue.
A few people have suggested that I’m motivated by my past volunteer involvement with the YMCA as the Y has officially announced that they will reevaluate their plans to build a facility in Tri-Lakes if a Tri-Rec Community Center is built. While this concerns and saddens me, it is not motivation enough for me to risk the likely backlash to me personally or to the YMCA that I was warned would follow any formal request for investigation into the Tri-Rec District. I admit that, although not a YMCA member myself, I am personally convinced a YMCA can positively impact a community, have seen it happen and would rather have a credible proven organization that offers choice of participation and contribution serve this community. Yet, this is just my opinion and one that I am entitled to have. But it is not what motivated me to take such aggressive actions. My motivation comes from a basic right to know the truth and have the truth be known.
In this case, truth will not be validated before the May 7th election. However, it is still my opinion that many of Tri-Rec’s claims are not true or even financially possible, and I continue to stand firm in my opinion that Tri-Rec is going to cost us a lot more than what is being disclosed. (Just check out Ballot Question 5A.) I believe it will cost each of us more money. I believe it may cost us a YMCA facility. And I believe it might even cost us a new high school. (While the School District may still have a chance at a smaller tax to just expand the existing campus, it is my opinion that a more expensive tax for a new location high school will be shot down if Tri-Rec passes.)
I ask you to inform yourself, reflect on your own Tri-Rec comfort level, consider how it will impact you and your community and take the time to go to Lewis Palmer High School on May 7th. Cast your vote so that this election will not be decided by a mere few as Tri-Rec had hoped, but by the majority of a well informed community.
Enough already! What are Christine Mikulas’s 15 questions? The story has been on the front page of the Tribune for weeks now, and all I have learned are the same two points. Since the Tribune usually goes into greater detail, I can only assume that the "15" questions are not worth printing. The people of the Tri-Lakes area didn’t just fall off a turnip truck. We know a spin when we see one. Anyone can file a lawsuit; but, if it is frivolous, they are held financially accountable. But, if you file a complaint "just to get some questions answered", you not only get to raise unfounded doubts, but get free front page publicity for your point of view as well.
Christine is sharper than I am. I paid over $200 for an ad in the Tribune to urge people to vote against the Tri-Rec at the last election. But then, I don’t have her connections at the Y.M.C.A.; and, at the last election, a vote for Tri-Rec was a vote for funding the Y.M.C.A. with tax dollars. Christine is against the Tri-Rec this time, but then there is no longer a free ride for the Y.M.C.A. So I guess she hasn’t really changed her spots.
Last time, I voted for the Tri-Rec District because I think it is needed. And, like the majority of the voters, I voted against funding the Y.M.C.A. through the Rec District. The district board listened and changed accordingly. So, this election I vote YES to funding the Tri-Rec. I’m also in favor of school bonds and improving highways. So, I guess I’m just a sucker in supporting our community…. And that’s no spin.
Incidentally, there are a lot of rec. districts in Colorado doing just what Tri-Rec proposes; and they have been doing a great job for years. You might want to check them out, Christine!
I write this letter as an advocate of trails and open space. Since I was a youth, I have used activity in nature as a source of spiritual connection, physical rejuvenation, creative jumpstarts, mental stimulation, and emotional release. I feel calmed, nurtured and strengthened by the sounds, smells, sights, and textures of nature. I have enjoyed walking and hiking in this area for over 20 years and feel blessed by the beauty and freedom to enjoy nature easily. In fact, my appreciation led me to be the head of the Friends of Ben Lomond community group that has been striving for over a year to gain funding that will help buy Ben Lomond mountain and develop it as publicly accessible open space.
We live in an area where we are seeing parcels of open land and neighborly landowners dwindle to near nothing. Informal trailheads that have been publicly used for decades now have NO TRESPASSING signs. Fields are fenced and exclusive signage is posted. Commercial and residential developments are blossoming everywhere. I know this is all part of progress.
I also know that human beings are healthier and happier when they have space and fresh air and exercise. They feel better themselves and they treat each other better, too. One way to support gracious treatment of ourselves and others is to create beautiful natural spaces to see from a distance and to play within. Many people are already using the available trails and open spaces and know what I mean. They also know that as we grow, these things need to grow, too. It is a major part of the quality of life in the area north of Colorado Springs.
We have a chance to support this growth and betterment of our trail system and open space parcels by voting yes for trails and open space at the Tri-Rec District vote on May 7 at Lewis Palmer High School. One thing that was noted from last years’ feedback was that people wanted the choice to vote for separate parts of the District’s ideas. You will get that choice this year. You can say yes to helping build 86 miles of trail and helping purchase the meager open space properties still available in our area. This can happen for about $15 per year per $100,000 of property value. Because of the high density and growth within the District’s boundaries, a lot can happen with very little from each resident.
Even if you are not a trail user or open space appreciator at this time, please consider the possibilities for you and your loved ones to use the trails in the future. For example, many people find that the results from their yearly doctor’s exam include some areas of unhealthiness, be it overweight, high cholesterol, blood pressure problems, or nervous dysfunction. The easiest form of exercise to deal with any of these ailments is walking. You will have accessibility to a developed and integrated trail system that will support you on your way back to a healthier life. What about those growing children or visiting grandchildren or friends who are already taking care of themselves through walking, running, or riding? Surprise! There’s already something fun for them to explore, enjoy and with which to strengthen their bodies and minds. Why? Because as a resident within the boundaries of County Line Rd, Highway 83, Northgate, and the mountains, you took your chance to help build a piece of this community that will not only upgrade your lifestyle right now, but will enhance the lives of many over the next decades.
Thanks for supporting the trails and open space section of the Tri-Rec District proposal on May 7 at LPHS.
I was disappointed to read all the negativity directed towards the Tri-Lakes Parks and Recreation District in last several week’s Tribunes. Personally, I am excited about the possibility of preserving open space; creating more trails, and having a community center available for me and my family. I have always been envious of communities like Castle Rock and Summit County that prioritize recreational opportunities for all their citizens. I believe the concerns that were raised in various articles and editorials recently are easily addressed by the District’s Board of Directors. I also believe that the Board has responded to the feedback it has received from citizens and is doing a good job trying to provide programming that has something to offer everyone in the community.
Over a year ago, the voters choose to form the District but not to fund it, presumably because voters desired parks and recreation services but did not agree with how the District was structured. Following the election, a poll was conducted to determine how to interpret the election outcomes. As a result of this poll, the District made changes to their programming proposals. Voters will be voting on three issues in May: funding for trails and open space, funding for a community center, and funding for the operation and maintenance of the community center. Respondents to the poll further indicated they did not want a third party affiliation with the community center and did not want to have to pay user fees, since they were already supporting the center with taxes. The proposed Community Center would be run by the District and would not charge user fees for residents of the District.
When a community grows rapidly, as ours is, it must develop adequate infrastructure to accommodate that growth. Just like funding schools and roads, providing recreational infrastructure is the responsibility of the taxpayers, and in our case, of the Tri-Rec District. This does not exclude the involvement of private organizations such as the YMCA in our community. They continue to have many important programs and services to offer our youth and families.
The proposed operating budget for the community center was one of the concerns raised last week. According to the Tri-Rec District Board, the figures for the operating budget are drawn from other successful community centers, most notably the Castle Rock Recreation Center. This center is very well run and utilized and has been providing recreation services to citizens of Castle Rock for 14 years.
I would certainly love to see my family and the residents of Tri-Lakes be able to enjoy excellent parks and recreation facilities for generations to come. I encourage you to support the Tri-Rec District.
Recently, county commissioner Duncan Bremer wrote a letter on county letterhead stating the following: "Although I have permitted the District to use my picture and quote about the benefit of the District’s plans, I, for one, do not believe the ballot proposals represent good government and will actively oppose them."
What is good government? Does good government allow a county commissioner to influence an election and try to control any attempt by the people of the Tri-Lakes community to determine if they wish to tax themselves to build a recreation center and trails?
Could it be that the few people in the business community who spoke out against the Tri-Rec proposal and happened to be contributors to Duncan’s re-election campaign have influenced the commissioner? These "business" people have no desire to see an additional tax and have already opted out of the District and therefore should have no influence over the Tri-Rec election at all. But apparently they got to Duncan because now he has changed his mind, claiming that the numbers don’t add up and that Tri-Rec used GOCO funds inappropriately to educate the residents of Tri-Rec on how the monies would be collected and spent. The Tri-Rec proposal is consistent with many Front Range recreation districts that often use GOCO funds for education. He is now using his position to create the impression that the BOCC disapproves of the actions of the Tri-Rec Board, and that the BOCC opposes the ballot issues now before the residents of Tri-Rec, when in fact this is not true at all.
In April, commissioner Bremer requested the Tri-Rec board to attend a meeting of the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to address the complaints made by Chris Mikulas, a former representative of the YMCA and an avowed political opponent of Tri-Rec. Despite no legal requirement to respond to these biased complaints, the Tri-Rec Board attended the meeting and addressed each of the concerns. During the BOCC meeting, County Attorney Michael Lucas expressed his opinion that Tri-Rec’s activities to date are consistent with their approved Service Plan and applicable state laws. What more can Tri-Rec do? It’s too late to contribute to Duncan’s campaign and even if it were not, it would be inappropriate way to get his endorsement. Whatever happened to free elections where people can decide for themselves and vote without political intrusion?
In addition to the fact that commissioner Bremer is working very hard to control the election results, the truly sad part of this is, if the county commissioners had acted responsibly in the first place and required developers to provide for pedestrian walkways or access trails in unincorporated subdivision when developments were first approved as well as set aside monies for a future recreation center from subdivision fees, we may never be in the situation where we must create a tax to build trails and a recreation center.
I have read with great interest a political advertisement for the upcoming election on May 7th for the Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District (TLFPD) Board of Directors. Glenn Scott, Joel Azrikan, and Steve Stannard assert numerous problems that need attention. They claim that, if elected, they will fix these problems and put the District back on track. As a volunteer Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician for the past eight years, and Lieutenant for the past five, I have NEVER received a complaint from the citizens I serve. Further more, none of these gentlemen have even bothered to discuss actual emergency operations with any of the volunteers that serve our community.
I’d like to address some of the problems these candidates claim need to be "fixed."
You should ask yourself why Mr. Scott and these other candidates, who live in one of the very few Fire Protection Districts in El Paso County that has a full-time staff providing around-the-clock Fire Protection and Advanced Life Support ambulance service, feel the need for major changes?
Please look closely at your current fire/ambulance service, ask your neighbors, and vote from a position of knowledge on what YOU need.
Keith Duncan, Lieutenant, TLFPD, Volunteer Firefighter/EMT
Often elections cause rhetoric that can be misconstrued. We take this means of saying to the firefighters, medical personnel and volunteers of the Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District what the true intentions of the board candidates Scott, Azrikan, and Stannard are.
First, we simply see a need for broader thinking on the part of the board. The entire area needs to be viewed as a whole for delivery of emergency services.
Second, we are not "locked in" to a merger of districts. We think the logical conclusions of the ESCG study will tend toward pooling resources, joint planning, and training. We support those concepts.
Third, we know the Tri-Lakes FPD personnel are all dedicated professionals of the highest caliber. Whatever the outcome of future policy decisions, you will continue to be the heart of the service.
If elected, our pledge to you is that we will be open, receptive and involved. Your voices will continue to be heard.
Joel Azrikan, Glenn Scott, Steve Stannard
There is a prejudice in our community that is disturbingly tolerated. If these families were referred to by ethnic slurs there would be outrage. Because the slur is economic, it is somehow justified. These families are people whose children are referred to as "trash" by classmates in school and it goes unnoticed. "Those trailer parks" is a phrase uttered at all levels of community, without care for the judging tone of voice.
It is true that there have been meth labs in the parks. There once was a prostitution ring run out of house in Woodmoor. Crimes occur in all neighborhoods. The value of a house does not guarantee the quality of the contribution of the people to the community. For record keeping purposes, the Town of Palmer Lake is divided into five law enforcement areas. The truth about the mobile home parks is that they rank a low third in calls for the police. If the figures for the parks are isolated from the surrounding businesses– they rank very much lower. This is one of our safer neighborhoods.
We are all very proud of living in a community where friendly people at the grocery call the customers by name, where the cashier at the gas station is someone we know. We are grateful for the friendly receptionist who puts our calls through. That is the way we treat each other in a small town. Many of those kind and helpful people go home at night to "those trailer parks".
It is true that the parks are not well kept. It is also true that most of the people who live in the parks do not own their home. The burden belongs to the landlords.
The next time it occurs to you to utter the economic slur of "those trailer parks" remember that our zoning discourages low-income housing. Ask yourself where your young married children could live and raise their families in this community. Remind yourself that the police are making as many, if not more calls to your neighborhood than to the parks. Remember that hard working moms and dads with children, people who go to work each day to serve your needs happen to live in those trailers. Remember that "those people" are our neighbors and deserve our respect. Just as we are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, we should be respected until we are proven to be unworthy. Be thankful that the people who live in "those trailer parks" don’t hold a grudge. One of them might be driving the ambulance you need to get you to the hospital.
Susan Miner, Trustee, Town of Palmer Lake
El Paso and Teller Counties have a huge stake in the budget battle now being played out in the waning days of this year’s legislative session.
The battle is over judges, specifically whether to add six new judges to ease large case backlogs in many of our fastest growing judicial districts -- or whether to give a pay raise of $5,829 to 240 existing judges who already make approximately $100,000 a year.
Republicans, including myself, believe additional judges are the better approach. In a memo written over a year ago, the Judicial Branch listed adding 24 judges throughout the state as its number one budget priority. Because of budget constraints even then, it was decided to spread these 24 new judges over four years.
The Fourth Judicial District, which serves El Paso and Teller Counties, was slated to receive five of these additional judges, one during each of the first three years of the plan and two the fourth year. We are now in the second year.
The Fourth Judicial District would receive more new judges than any other judicial district in the state -- and for good reason. Over the last two decades, the number of district court filings in the district increased dramatically, going from 12,368 filings in 1980 to 19,641 in Fiscal Year 2001, an increase of nearly 60 percent. Thus, it is critical that we stay on track and receive our second new judge in Fiscal Year 2002-03, as would happen under the Republican budget plan.
Statehouse Democrats, on the other hand, would prefer to give pay raises to existing judges throughout the state. Moreover, they are threatening to create a budget crisis if they don’t get their way. If this issue is not resolved by May 8, the scheduled date for adjournment, the entire state budget bill for next year will die. This means we would be called back into special session and have to start over, with taxpayers having to pick up the additional cost. This makes no sense.
I have personally talked with a couple judges on this matter. Naturally they would like to receive a pay raise (and who wouldn’t?), but agree that our first priority should be to fund new judges and ease the backlog in our courts. Let’s hope that the Democrats stop playing politics and see the light.
State Rep. Lynn HefleyBeware of Telemarketers Asking for Personal Financial Information
By Joe Kissell
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office along with AARP put together a program entitled Elder Watch. Recently they released a "Fraud Alert" entitled "Beware of Telemarketers Asking For Personal Financial Information." The following is a transcript of the alert I felt was good information to share with the Community.
We all understand telemarketers can be an annoyance and are looking for ways to prevent them from calling us at inconvenient times or in some cases not at all. The following sounds like a good way to prevent the calls; however, don’t be fooled into thinking this will work. Remember, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is."
Recently the AARP ElderWatch received numerous reports regarding a telemarketing campaign by an organization calling itself the Anti-Marketing League. The organization contacts seniors in Colorado, promising to get customers off more than 150 telemarketing lists. They also represent they will assist consumers in reclaiming any funds lost to telemarketers. The consumer is asked to provide a bank routing number to pay for the services of the Anti-marketing League.
If you receive a call from the Anti-marketing League, or a similar group, here are some tips you can use to protect yourself:
NEVER give your bank, credit card or other personal or financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Don’t believe promises from telemarketers that, for a fee, they can recover lost funds
The best advice to deal with the phone calls is just hang up!
If you receive a phone call from the Anti-Marketing League, please report it to AARP ElderWatch at 1-800-222-4444. In the Denver area call (303) 222-4444. AARP ElderWatch is administered through the AARP Foundation, and is co-sponsored by AARP and the Office of the Colorado Attorney General.
Colorado No-Call List
Colorado’s No-Call Law takes effect July 1, 2002. There is no charge to be on the no-call list. To be added to the list, call (800) 222-4444 or go to www.coloradonocall.org.
Some happy anglers from last year's derby.
By George Barker
The fourth annual 2002 "Hooked on Palmer Lake" Kid’s Fishing Derby will be held Saturday, June 1st at Palmer Lake. The event begins at 8:00 am and ends at noon. Kids 16 and under compete for prizes and the ticket stub raffle at the end of the morning sends lots of kids home with free stuff. The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) hosts the derby and stocks the lake. They also provide free fishing gear (limited quantity – first come, first served) to participants who do not have any.
The Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, El Paso County Parks, King’s Deer and many other local area merchants sponsor the event. Tickets are $2 and are available at area merchants (see ad in this paper) or at the lake on the morning of the event. Prizes are given away for biggest fish, skinniest fish, strangest fish and more. Each entrant needs to complete a simple angler education course put on by the DOW to be eligible for free equipment and prizes. Jeff Hulsmann will be running the cooking station and all kids catching fish who wish to keep them can learn how to cook and clean their fish at Jeff’s station. This year there will be a recipe contest for northern pike at the Air Force Academy’s cooking station.
Tri-Lakes Fire and Rescue and the Palmer Lake Fire Department will provide parking assistance, shore patrol and First Aid at the lake, and area Boy Scouts will cook hot dogs served with chips and drinks. Over 50 volunteers help with the event. This particular Saturday (June 1st) is a free day of fishing for all (no license required), and the lake is open to the public, so bring your kids and come join in the fun! No child will be turned away for lack of ticket price. An adult must accompany all kids under 10. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 481-3282, George Barker at 488-1999, Jeff Hulsmann at 488-3134 or Larry Stiltner at 481-8382.May Fair May 11
On Saturday, May 11 in downtown Monument, the Historic Monument Merchants are holding their annual May Fair Celebration. Activities include a huge outdoor quilt show, pottery throwing demonstrations, an art show, flower pot painting, story readings, several open house activities and demonstrations. There will be face painters, a ventriloquist and food specials throughout town from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Contact Catherine at 481-3477 for more details.
A sampling of May Fair 2002 activities
Cat Bird Seat - Mother’s Day Open House
Coffee Cup Café - Food specials
Expectations Salon - Trampoline
Folk Art Gallery - Local Artist’s Show, 10 am to 2 pm
High Country Feed and Garden- Painting flower pots, Herbal Aromatic Cleaning, Hot dogs
Monumental Miniatures - Kids face painting, noon to 2 pm
Petal Pushin’ - Accents from a Buzzard, Ventriloquist Show, 11 am, noon, 1 pm
Quilted Cottage - Quilt Show, 9 am to 3 pm
United Methodist Church - Fashion Show
Town of Monument - Arbor dayTake a Hike!
By Judith Pettibone
With high country trails still blocked by snow, wildflowers of summer only a daydream, and the spring winds kicking up dust, the pleasures of summer hiking may seem far away. But it is not too early to plan your hiking trips or your summer day- hikes. Planning now will also give you a head start for those glorious spring days that call you to those lower altitude trails. As you dust off your boots and dig out your pack, the following books may be just what you need for your next outdoor adventure.
One Hundred Classic Hikes in Colorado
Drawing on his thirty-years living in the southwest, Warren is a knowledgeable outdoorsman. His best of the best hikes cover the entire state including the Front Range, the Rockies, the shortgrass prairies, slickrock canyons and the Colorado Plateau. From the lovely aspen-treed cover, the book has a colored photograph to illustrate each hike. The hikes are summarized for length, difficulty, hiking time, elevation, and season. A map follows this with a more detailed description including driving instructions. One of the best features of Warren’s hike descriptions is his inclusion of historical information.
Colorado’s Best Wildflower Hikes
Each hike’s description tantalizingly begins with "wildflower alert" followed by an explanation like: "More than 80 wildflower species make for a colorful excursion". Makes you want to tie up your boots and watch the snow melt. The flowers are amply illustrated and the trails classified by: rating, length, location, elevation, bloom season, peak bloom and directions. The Front Range volume covers the area from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs while Volume 2 covers Steamboat Springs as well as Breckenridge/Vail, Crested Butte and Montrose.
Happy Trails, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (soon to be
Published by the Gazette Telegraph, these nifty little index card-sized, spiral bound, perfect for the fanny pack, hiking books are one of the best series for getting around our local area. Ranked in difficulty by the number of graphic hiking boots, from easy going at one boot to lung busters at four boots, these guides with regional maps will make planning hikes a pleasure. Their portability makes them great carry-alongs. The intro includes tree identification as well as other basic information.
"Mountains do not change but access to them does. And no other source is more dependable for the most complete and accurate climbing information than the Colorado Mountain Club," so states the cover information on this hiking guide. This book, perfect for your shirt or back pocket gives you excellent driving instructions, where to leave your car, a description of the approved trail, which USGC (United States Geologic Survey) maps to use, and even journal spaces for you to record the highlights. There are six 14ers on the Front Range just waiting for you.
Hiking in Colorado is definitely one of the pluses of living here. These books can be your hiking partners as you plan your upcoming outdoor adventures.
Marie Earle and Bo (above)
Red Rocket Rider (below)
By Emily Hale
Do you come home to an energetic dog who is ready to play? Does your ‘best friend’ routinely bring his favorite toy for you to toss across the living room? For the past several years, my husband and I have successfully channeled our border collies’ relentless energy into frisbee activities. A twenty-minute session of toss-and-catch or choreographed tricks is a great way to dissipate their hyperactive kinetic energy.
In 1996, we attended a canine frisbee demonstration at Fort Collins’ City Park where dogs were not only catching tosses from their owners, but (the dogs) were performing complex frisbee tricks too! Television shows such as Animal Planet have shown several segments on these agile dogs and their excellent handlers. Since the canine athleticism portrayed on these nationally-aired shows has generated considerable appeal with the American public.
For the past two summers, we have been involved with the Colorado Disc Dog Club (www.coloradodiscdogs.com). This club includes dogs such as Australian shepherds, border collies, Golden Retrievers and mixes and people such as store managers, graduate students, computer technicians, lawyers, and college professors. Throughout the summer months, players from all over the state participate in the local competitions, national competitions and demonstrations. The Colorado Disc Dog Club hosts the local competitions at various locations around the state. The national competitions, typically hosted in Littleton, attract teams from Oregon, Kansas, Texas and California. The demonstrations are typically volunteer efforts for various charities. Each spring, the Disc Dog Club sponsors a training event to address the typical spectator question, "How do I get my dog to do that?" In addition, the Colorado Disc Dog Club is developing a training video to let people take some of the club members’ expertise home to practice with their pup at their own pace.
There are three main divisions observed during competition: Novice, Intermediate and Freestyle. The Novice division is for beginner frisbee throwers, beginner frisbee catchers or any combination of the two. If ‘Happy’ the miniature poodle or ‘Heidi’ the German Shepard can catch frisbees in the novice division, so can your Golden Retriever, Chocolate Lab or Australian Cattle Dog. The Intermediate division is for teams who have competed in the novice division for a full season, and continue to enjoy the distance-accuracy competition. The Freestyle division is the type of show you would typically see on Animal Planet; a routine set to music with the dog and the handler performing a choreographed sequence of tricks to show off the dog’s agility, athleticism, and showmanship. So, the competitions have divisions for all levels of dog/handler skill.
There are different rules for different events around the state, and the best way to find out about them is to check the Colorado Disc Dogs website listed below. If you can throw a frisbee relatively straight, if you can throw at least 10 yards, and if your dog can sometimes catch the frisbee with paws on the ground or in the air, you will get points toward and have a chance to win a first, second or third place trophy.
Teams at all skill levels are encouraged to participate in the Colorado Springs local competition on June 1. This for-fun meet will take place at Cottonwood Creek Park, located at Dublin and Rangewood in north Colorado Springs. It starts at 10 am and will continue until about 3 pm. Join us for as long as you would like. In past events, many young people enjoy competing in all three divisions with their canine. If you have any questions about the Colorado Springs event, please consult the website, which includes a map, directions and contact information.
For more information: Contact The Colorado Disc Dog Club, www.coloradodiskdogs.com
Below: Jansen Fangio as Inspector Clouseau and Penelope Morgan as Olga, a Russian assassin, in the LPHS production of "The Pink Panther Strikes Again"
It was difficult to tell whether the audience or the actors were having more fun when the Lewis-Palmer High School thespians performed the comedy "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" April 11-13 at LPHS.
The leads were Janson Fangio as the feckless Chief Inspector Clouseau, a role made famous by the legendary Peter Sellers; Tripp Fountain as Dreyfus, Clouseau’s former superior and now insane nemesis who threatens the world with destruction in his single-minded pursuit of vengeance against Clouseau; and Penelope Morgan as Olga, a Russian assassin who falls in love with Clouseau, and is torn between her duty to kill him and her desire to run away with him. The entire cast of 32 students had a great time with their roles, camping and vamping it up, while members of the audience laughed, applauded, and cheered them on. This major production also involved dozens of students behind the scenes.
The play was pure flummery - one of the funniest performances in recent memory. The LPHS drama department, under Karen Kennedy, produces two major productions each school year: a musical in the fall and a drama or a comedy in the spring. The talent of our young people is surprising, and these productions are great opportunities for family entertainment close to home.
Above : Kelly McGuire (center) receives business person of the year award.Left to Right: Dr. Frank Puckett, George Barker, Kelly McGuire, Tommie Plank, and Woody Woodworth.
Below: Left: Jeff Hulsmann and Dani Grant. Right: Lee Kilbourn, Past President, Susan Helmich, and Gov Vaughn, President
By Judy Barnes
Local business owners, residents, and guests joined the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce for an evening of celebration and merriment at the Chamber’s annual dinner dance on April 5. The party, at the Air Force Academy Press Room, began with cocktails and a silent auction of diverse goods donated by local merchants. Jeff Hulsmann of the Villa at Palmer Lake and Dani Grant shared the stage as masters of ceremony, donning costumes representing various annual Chamber events and entertaining with zany antics as they announced guests. Kelly McGuire of Folk Art Gallery received the Business Citizen of the Year award from the Chamber. Two students of Lewis-Palmer High School, Alex Alba and Ashley Mohr, were honored as students of the year. Each received a $1,000 scholarship from Brookhart’s Building Centers. After the awards and a delicious buffet dinner, partygoers danced to the oldies sounds of the band Tiny Barge and the Big Chill.
Below: Peggy Lilly, Tri-Lakes Womens’ CLub President with donations from this year’s antique dealers for the silent auction.
By Elizabeth Hacker
The 26th Annual Pine Forest Antique Show and Sale was bigger and better than last year with more than 2,675 people roaming the high school cafeteria and gym the weekend of April 20. According to Tri-Lakes Women’s Club (TLWC) President Peggy Lilly, year after year the show continues to attract a greater number of quality antique dealers that draw in the crowds. The Women’s Club also continues to grow in membership and it is their volunteers who generously give their time, energy, and talents to make the show possible. But Ms. Lilly was quick to point out that it is the generosity of the people of our community who continue to show up at the door that makes the show a success.
Norman Minch, owner of the Antique Broker in Fort Collins and the show’s manager, noted that the first show held in 1976 was small and that most of the dealers were from El Paso County and surrounding areas. But over the years, the TLWC has continued to promote the show that now hosts more than 60 dealers from five states. Many of the repeat dealers come to the show because of the antique enthusiasts who come year after year.
The co-chairs of the antique show, Terry Franz and Jan Vaughn, emphasized that the show will probably continue to grow because their members have so many new ideas and the energy to follow through on them. Over the past years, the TLWC has provided donations totaling over $307,000 back to the community. Examples of past recipients include District 38 schools, Woodmoor/Monument Fire Protection, Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District, Palmer Lake Fire Department, Woodmoor Public Safety, Palmer Lake Marshal’s Office, Palmer Lake Fireworks, Tri-Lakes Cares, and Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. This year grant requests total over $40,000.
One example of the Club’s talent is this year’s publication of their first-ever cookbook. Jan Cashman and Fran Richardson along with other club members developed a new twist on an old theme, "Great Beginnings to Fabulous Finales" that includes over 450 recipes from members and local restaurants. The cover was designed by Sheila Schneider and features the artwork of John DeFrancesco. All proceeds from the book are given to non-profit organizations in the community. Diana Picchietti noted that the cookbooks are $15.00 each and can be purchased at High Country Feed and Covered Treasures Bookstore.
The Bake Sale and Country Kitchen were again very successful and revenues were up over previous years. The baked goods always sell out very early and members continue to bring in baked items as people return for more.
Any woman living in School District 38 is welcome to join the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club. For additional information contact Bobbie Spearel, 488-3364 or Elaine Myers, 487-7523May 18
By Mary Carew
Have you ever thought it would be fun to learn about archeology? Here’s your chance! On May 18, the Friends of Monument Preserve are doing an archeology survey of the Monument Preserve, the thousand acres of Pike National Forest that surrounds the fire center. This area was home to a tree nursery for the Forest Service from 1907 to 1965. The Forest Service has asked us to do this survey in order to record what is there. If we can obtain historical site designation for this area, we would be eligible for grants to help preserve it. This will be just a surface survey with no digging. We need both experienced and inexperienced people to work. We are having a training day on May 18 from 9:00 to 3:00. The agenda will be a short history of the tree nursery, then the Forest Service archeologist will train us on how to survey and record historical and prehistoric sites. We will then go out and do some actual surveying. After that we will serve a free bag lunch and have time for questions. After lunch, the archeologist will demonstrate flint knapping. He will show us how native americans made their tools and arrowheads, using the same types of tools they used. We have scheduled three workdays for the survey during the summer and we would like you to come back and survey on one or all of the workdays. They are June 8, July 20, and August 24. We will try to send three or four inexperienced people out with an experienced person. Families are welcome.
The Friends of Monument Preserve is a tax-exempt organization that works with the Forest Service to maintain and preserve the area. We are responsible for the maintenance of 22 miles of trails that are used by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. We also put in the trailhead at Mt. Herman and Nursery Roads. This is a wonderful little piece of wilderness very close to town. We will be planting 1000 trees on May 11 with the help of a Boy Scout troop. We have done this for the past three years. Another scout troop just put up bluebird houses with the help of one of our board members. We also sponsor groups to remove noxious weeds.
Please join us on May 18. Call Mary Carew (488-9402) for information and to sign up to help. It will be a great day in the outdoors.Houseplant Herbs
By Woody Woodworth,
This time of year it’s rewarding to be able to go to the windowsill and snip a little basil for the tomato sauce or chop some chives for a dip. Culinary herbs grown indoors during the winter months can provide a supplement to your recipes while making attractive houseplants as well. Herbs can be grown indoors, but it’s a little tricky and they like to be moved outside in May or June. Here are a few tips.
Start with a good selection. If you missed most of the winter, look now to your favorite garden center for herb plants. They usually arrive early so you can get a jump start on spring and they make great sill plants. Look for a well-established plant with more than a single stem and vigorous growth in a pot 3"or bigger. Leaves should be undamaged, puffy and green. Yellow leaves at the bottom of the stem indicate the plant is pot bound, so avoid plants with many roots growing out of the bottom (a few are okay). There should be no evidence of insects or disease – look for off colored or distorted leaves.
The single most important thing you can do for your herb plant right after you buy it is transplant it to a bigger pot. Your herbs will be happiest in a porous terra cotta type pot (try to avoid plastic or glazed) with a good soil mix. No herb should be grown in a pot less than 6" in diameter. Mix a little sand in with your commercial potting mix. Herbs demand good drainage and most are killed by over watering. That’s why good drainage is so important. Water with room temperature water, then empty the saucers in about an hour or so if any water is standing in the bottom. A good indication of watering time is when the top inch of soil is dry. Let bay, marjoram, sage and thyme dry out completely before watering. Rosemary likes to be on the dry side, but not completely. The mints, lemon balm, ginger and geranium like a little moister soil.
Most herbs need a lot of sun, at least five hours of light per day, so a south-facing window should do the trick. Turn the pots regularly to keep the plants shapely. Artificial light will make a big difference in leaf production if you plan to use your plant for culinary purposes. If you get a real cold snap, move the plants slightly away from the glass so they don’t get frostbite. Never crowd your herbs, they need air circulation. Don’t let leaves from neighboring pots touch one another. Indoor plants that are stressed from poor light and poor air circulation will be susceptible to insect pests. If you are using your plants for culinary purpose, remember this: What you treat your plants with should be something you wouldn’t mind eating! Soap spray on the top and bottom of the leaves will get rid of white flies and aphids (wash leaves before using). Try misting your plants once a week to avoid spider mites in warm, dry conditions. Scale can be fought using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Be sure to isolate an infested plant.
Check your local garden center now for your favorite herbs and bring a little spring into your windowsill.
By Lucy McGuire, Owner, Folk Art Gallery
All too often, people ask me what the rules say about framing a picture. I find myself sputtering and stuttering and trying to recite something to make the process sound concrete and simple. That never works.
Art schools tell their students that white mats are really the only proper way to highlight the work. Magazines say to match framing to this or that in the room and keep everything unified. Some people get hung up on staying with a particular wood because that is the only one they have in their house. Lovers of primitive antiques want all framing to look weathered and old. The truth is, aside from a few basic principles, rules just do not apply.
Framing a picture is an intensely personal process, one in which the only real measure of success is owner satisfaction. When you choose to showcase a picture or object to enhance your home, it should please you. The opinions of art schools, magazines, and other people should not matter.
Here are some simple standards for framing a picture—or anything else, for that matter.
Frame the picture, not the room. You will be happier in the long run if the picture can be used in more than one place in your home, or in your next home. Obviously, consideration should be given to the style of your home or room, but begin by setting the artwork like a stone in a jewel, then review the options that make it suit your lifestyle.
Do not let the framing overpower the object. Sometimes it is difficult not to fall in love with a particular frame. There are certainly some beautiful moldings available, but if the picture becomes lost in the frame, then the point of the art is lost and you might as well hang a mirror. That is actually a solid decorative option and a good way to use a molding you cannot live without.
Choose colors from the palette represented in the picture or object. The artist has chosen the colors that create the image. Using the same colors to mat and frame can often enhance the image and create a depth not possible with the often prescribed white or off white. In other instances, nothing seems to work but a neutral. Color choice is a very individualized process. The important thing is to take the time to study the piece and decide what appeals to you.
A frame with a raised outer edge will draw the eye to the center. If you are framing a tiny jewel of a picture or a small object, this is an effective way of creating a focused setting. If an image is large and seems overwhelming, this can soften the impact.
A frame with a raised inner edge will broaden attention outward. Creating greater impact with framing is often done by using this type of frame. We recently framed an oil painting for a particular home location in which the picture needed maximum impact to hold its own. A four-inch wide frame with a high inner edge made the painting look considerably larger.
Non-glare glass is inappropriate if more than two mats are used. It will blur the image. Non-glare glass certainly a real blessing in our bright climate. However, if the distance between the glass and the image exceeds about 1/8 inch, the distortion is distracting.
Conservation glass is appropriate if the object is fragile or needs protection from UV rays. Conservation glass is the only means of protecting an object or picture from harmful sunlight. We always recommend it for children’s art because such artworks are often created of the cheapest materials and will deteriorate in very little time. If we go to the trouble and expense to frame art, we should preserve it.
Choose what you love first. If it is too costly, then use that choice as a guide for something less costly. I hate to see people start out by trying to limit their choices to the least expensive options. It is not necessary to spend more than you can afford to beautifully frame something, but make choices based on what you like. If what you choose is more expensive than you can manage, a good framer can help you capture the image you love for less money.
You are likely to look at this framed object for 15 to 20 years. Choose carefully. There is no way around the fact that custom framing is expensive. You choose what you like and someone makes it to your specifications; that always costs money. But once you have made the decision that a custom frame is what you need, choose one you can live with for the long haul, not one you will regret every time you look at it.
Art exists wherever you find it, not just in expensive prints. In our shop, Folk Art Gallery, we have framed golf balls, sports tickets, quilt squares, Chinese paper cuts, medallions, tapestries, glass elephants, baby dresses, shoes, sea shells, a Nazi arm band, sweaters, buttons, needlework of all kinds, invitations, flags, diplomas, plaster masks, bamboo scrolls, coins, stamps, and children’s art so creative it gives us hope for the future — the list is almost endless. We have not actually framed any teeth yet, but there is still time. Art is what is personal to you; what makes your heart lift; what makes you feel at home. Look for it. It is all around you.
By Terry Galloway
Just choose one or both days, gather up all your treasures, put them out for display in your very own garages, and join in the fun. Friday, June 7 and Saturday June 8
Helpful Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale #3 through #7 of 7
Tip #3 - Pricing Your Stuff
Tip #4 – Displaying Your Stuff
Tip #5 – Selling Your Stuff:
Tip #6 – Advertising Your Stuff:
Tip #7 – Other Ideas for Your Sale:
For more information on participating in the Annual Gleneagle Community Garage Sale, call Terry Galloway, McGinnis/GMAC Real Estate at 487 3326.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on January 24, 2023. Home page: www.ocn.me.
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